Sunday, April 5, 2009

Materials Society of Nigeria

When the surprise invitation to present at the November 2008 meeting of NIMACON, the Nigerian Materials Congress (a meeting of the Nigerian Materials Research Society) arrived, I already had plans to visit the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria. It was therefore a fortunate coincidence and I happily incorporated NIMACON into my travel plans.

This was the 7th annual conference. I had not realized Nigeria's MRS had been in existence for 7 years: the founding of this professional society therefore preceded that of MRS-Africa by a couple of years.

The theme of the 2008 meeting was "Materials Development and the Vision 2020." However it was energized by another event: I arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday, November 4, the day of the U.S. presidential election. By November 5 the news of Obama's historic victory had spread around the world. That morning when I arrived at the Engineering Materials Development Institute where the meeting was held, it was clear that the optimism from Obama's successful campaign had permeated the place. It was as if the delegates' mood shifted Obama's campaign slogan "yes we can!" to replace the original theme. Repeatedly during the presentations a speaker might encounter a challenge (e.g., an uncooperative computer projector), and the audience would encourage him/her with a cheerful "yes, we can." Or, a speaker would point to the challenges confronting researchers, due to the lack of research infrastructure. . ."Yes we can!"

The 4 technical sessions at the 2008 congress included:

Developments in Modeling and Simulation
Developments in Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Electronic Materials and Energy
Developments in Fibers, Textiles, Ceramics and Composite Materials
Developments in Minerals and Materials Processing

NIMACON 2008 was a collaborative effort with sponsorship from the following groups:

National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Abuja

Engineering Materials Development Institute (EMDI), Akure

Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja

Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), Abuja

National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Abuja

Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Abuja

The next AFRICA-MRS meeting will be held in Abuja later this year (2009). Start making plans now to attend!


Materials said...

I happened to be the Secretary of the Local Organizing Committee of the said congress (NIMACON-2008). The distinguised professor was silent about his charismatic way of presenting plenary paper to the extent that the 'layest' of the laymen will find the topic "Aqueous Processing: From Minerals to Materials" interesting and informing. More greese!

-Engr. A.T. Oyelami (Akure, Nigeria)

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